Cool morning… But brilliant sunshine. We rode the Stilly course in the reverse direction from last time. They threw in a long run up with barriers, and then at the last minute, right before our race, they added the climb up the gravel road and an additional descent in order to lengthen the course!!! Several of my nemesis were missing, and one (Tim Purcell) was kicked up to the Cat 3 group! There was a gentleman from Montana and another from Wenatchee who had an extra gear than the rest of us… After 2 laps, I was sitting 4th, and exiting one of the corners around the barn, before we headed out to climb the hills again, my front tyre washed out in a rut and I fell… Picked myself up, gathered my wits, and got back on the bike and chased hard… Coming down the downhill, I was passed by a larger rider, hell bent to make time up on the downhill. I let him go, but caught up with him on the long flat back to the grass. Another caught up with us as we began the climb on our final lap, and we both dropped the bigger rider and rode hard to try to make up as much ground as possible. In the end, I finished 7th, probably 30 sec or so behind 2nd place. The guy from Montana won by about 2 minutes…
I have a bloody bruise on my left ankle, a cut on my right shin, and my left ribs are sore… But for whatever lapse… Oh well, that’s racin… Stayed to watch the Cat 1 / 2 race, and after the 3rd lap I noticed one of the competitors sitting by the barn, with a bloody right shin… Chatting with him, seems he crashed on the same corner I did… I went over and scoped out the turn… Several mixed direction ruts, some high spots, some ridges, and several good sized rocks, all in the space of the one turn… I now have a pretty good idea what led me to go down… The better line was staying more to the outside all the way around the turn, which is how I rode it the first lap, and then the subsequent laps… Oh well…
Molly Cameron Grand Prix Saturday – Apple Core Cross
Saturday was I pictured Portland cross to be….. Leg sapping mud. The race was at ab apple orchard and the sections that went through the trees were brutal with all mud. The down hills you would just hold on and let your bike go where it wanted to go in the mud and try to keep it upright..then when hill would rise a little there were times that my back tire just spun and went nowhere.. even with the Dugast Rhinos the mud was like peanut butter. I’m not used to the mud so I was doing the best I could sitting in 6th place and with about 4 laps to go people’s bikes were blowing up everywhere. The grass and mud covered your bike and all moving parts. My bike started skipping gears and I only had 2-3 gears left with 2 laps to go but was riding alone with nobody in front or rear so I didn’t bother to pit since I didn’t want to have to clean 2 bikes. 2 guys in front of me the bud took out their derauillers so I ended up 4th.
Cross Crusade Barton Park – Sunday
With my decent results the last 2 Crusades I thought maybe by bad luck at Crusades was over. I got the call-up to 2nd row and was ready to rip the course since it was a little roadie and hard some hard sections. My kind of course. 30seconds….GO. 10 yards into it someone in the front row goes down right in front of me and takes out the whole right side of the field. I run over him and somehow get my right glove caught on a bike and it’s gone..My race is over. One mistake, especially at the start is tough to make up. At this point I’m maybe sitting in 40th place. I think the rage of the moment kicked in and I rode my heart out picking off rider after rider and attacking and making up huge ground on the road sections and power sections… lap after lap I passed and dropped groups. I rolled through and ended up finishing 11th. I would have killed for a 11th at a Crusade at the beginning of the season..who knows where I would have finished if I didn’t have the crash to deal with. After the race a photographer shot some photos of me for a piece that Portland Monthly Magazine is highlighting me in about going to Masters Worlds.
That was a windy race.
Lot’s of yellow tape blown everywhere, hard to keep track of where the course was on the first and second lap.
This was the first race of the season that came down to a sprint finish, with Greg taking 1st by a wheel and me in second. Truth be told he had the race from the start but had to pit on the last lap and didn’t know I had caught up to him on the hill. As he snatched his pit bike I took the lead but with less than half a lap to go Greg powered past me and then it was neck and neck to the bitter end.
After several races with mechanical and rider induced issues. finally two complete races! 5th on Saturday on a fast, but muddy and greasy grass course. 6th on Sunday on a course that benefitted from drenching evening rains, 30m of goo, a run up called the “Grim Reaper” and several off camber sections where you basically had to let the bike do its thing w/out rider interference; a mudders delight!